A conversation with a dancer dancing in conversation with their gender
A rolling archive of tomboyhood
A drop-in durational installation
Give it a spin
The questions we might have about gender are always rooted in what words we might use to talk about bodies and what those words might do to the bodies that we use them on. TOMBO(Y)LA however dances in that space between language and embodiment and it opens up the gaps between names, nouns, declarations and the affects, emotions and potentials of embodiment, asking what it might be to move differently within gendered attempts to fix the flux of experience. The discussions, prompted by a plucked-out card are both actual conversations and framed discourse where both interlocutors position and reposition the words they are using in relation to Amy’s dancing propositions. The gestures are not illustrative, not do they fully coaelesce into drag, but they try something on, at the same point that the conversation feels the weight of words in the mouth, the shape of sentences in the room, and the forming of an idea as always in motion. TOMBO(Y)LA is located in the performativity of gender, in terms of the beginnings of that concept within speech act theory, and it stages the idea that we do not have a gender but rather we elaborate it in front of other as we dance around normative ideals and possibilities for destablising the binaries of heteropatriarchy. (Martin Hargreaves)
Concept and performance: Amy Bell
Tombola maker: Hannah Sharp
Thanks to: Liz Aggiss, Peggy Olislaegers, Selm Wenselaers and all those whose voices have brought the project to life.
Amy Bell is a Brighton based dance artist whose work embraces performing, making, writing, teaching, and curation. Amy’s performance work has included theatrical, installation and site-sensitive works for Tino Sehgal, Hussein Chalayan & Damien Jalet, Lea Anderson, Charlotte Spencer and Maresa von Stockert’s Tilted Productions. She is currently touring in Europe with Chiara Frigo’s tap dance solo work West End and with Alessandro Sciarroni’s Schuhplattler-inspired FOLK-S and Joseph Kids for young audiences. As a maker Amy’s current installation project TOMBO(Y)LA will sit alongside a new commission from The Place to be premiered in 2018. Previously, together with Valentina Golfieri she made a series of darkly absurd short duets. Amy was project writer for Performing Gender 2013-14, a European commissioning project for dance and performance in gallery spaces in Bologna, Madrid, Maastricht and Zagreb. She was a Sadler’s Wells Summer University Artist 2010-2014, a ChoreoRoam Europe artist in 2012 and a recipient of a Lisa Ullmann Travelling Scholarship Award in 2014 with which she researched queer culture and performance in San Francisco. In 2016 and 2017 she curated Bend It, a queer performance night at Yorkshire Dance in Leeds through the Artists Curating Dance programme. She also curated Rambert Dance Company’s Choreographic Development Platform, In The Making in 2016. Amy leads the Next Choreography course for young makers at Siobhan Davies Dance. She has lectured in Choreography at London Contemporary Dance School and in Critical Studies at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.